Fairfax Juvenile Defense Attorney
There are two components to Virginia juvenile law: On the one hand, the juvenile dependency system protects children from abuse or neglect by their parents or guardians. On the other hand, it also deals with delinquency involving minors who have been arrested for committing crimes. This page involves the latter and discusses how a Fairfax juvenile defense lawyer can provide assistance in delinquency proceedings.
In most cases, juveniles are treated much differently than adults in the criminal justice system. While there are instances where juveniles are tried as adults, most offenders under 18 years of age will be charged as juveniles. The most prominent distinction between juvenile law and the adult justice system is that the juvenile system places a much greater emphasis on rehabilitation. Another difference is that juveniles are only entitled to a jury trial on appeal AFTER they have been found guilty or “delinquent.” One similarity between the juvenile and adult justice systems is that juveniles have a constitutional right to be represented by a Fairfax juvenile defense lawyer.
If your child is facing drug charges, marijuana charges, or has been accused to causing damage to public or private property, contact us today so that we can set up a free consultation and discuss your options. Many times, when children are charged with a criminal offense, the charges stem from the child’s conduct at school. If your child is facing both criminal charges and school disciplinary action, we can provide aggressive defense on both fronts.
After a Child is Arrested, When Will They Appear in Fairfax County Juvenile Court?
As a Fairfax juvenile defense lawyer, I receive this question often, and the answer is that Fairfax County Juvenile Court, like juvenile courts in almost every other county in Virginia, follows the standard procedure of Virginia juvenile law. That procedure is as follows:
If a juvenile has been arrested and taken into custody, Virginia juvenile law requires that the child either be immediately released to a parent or guardian or be held in custody until he/she appears in Fairfax County juvenile court. If the child is not immediately released, the process of juvenile proceedings will begin with a detention hearing where it will be determined whether the child should remain in custody until the case is completed. This hearing must occur within 3 days of taking the juvenile into custody. If your child faces such a hearing, it is imperative that you contact a Fairfax juvenile defense lawyer immediately.
In determining whether to release a child to his/her parents or guardian, a Fairfax County juvenile court judge must consider the seriousness of the offense; whether there are any prior offenses; aggravating and mitigating circumstances; and whether the child’s release may pose an unreasonable risk of danger to others or to the juvenile’s own life or health. Using their best judgement and soundest discretion, a judge will determine whether to hold a child in custody until the end of trial or immediately release the child to their parents or guardian. But if you hire a Fairfax juvenile defense lawyer, the probability of the child being released pending the outcome of a trial is much greater.
Virginia Juvenile Law Trial Procedure
At trial, the judge will act as the fact-finder and will make the ultimate determination as to whether the child is guilty or “delinquent.” Like a trial of an adult offender, Virginia juvenile law requires that the prosecution prove the child’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the charges are sustained, the child will be sentenced to probation, fines, removal to foster care, or detention in a juvenile detention center. If the petition is set aside, no sentence will be imposed.
How a Fairfax Juvenile Defense Lawyer Can Help
It is important to note that all children make mistakes and it is almost a rite of passage for a child to behave mischievously, inappropriately, and to get themselves into trouble. The problem, however, is that many lawyers and judges forget what it was like to be a child once themselves, and these days, it seems like what used to be termed as “kids being kids” can now result in criminal charges. It is an integral part of the job of every Faifax juvenile attorney to help remind the court and opposing counsel of what being a child was like. It is also important for your Fairfax juvenile defense lawyer to hammer home that, even with an emphasis on rehabilitation, juvenile convictions can not only damage a child’s future, but their emotional and mental health as well.
Virginia juvenile law cases are unique in many ways, but at the end of the day, they require a compassionate, aggressive, and zealous Fairfax juvenile defense attorney to advocate on the minor’s behalf. With that said, I don’t merely serve as a Fairfax juvenile defense lawyer, but I am also the father of 3 young boys. As such, I am very familiar with the trouble and mischief that a child can get themselves into. But in today’s society, law enforcement and authority figures appear hell-bent on exacting retribution against otherwise naïve, innocent children. Indeed, before even becoming a Fairfax juvenile defense lawyer, I personally witnessed prosecutors seek harsh, damaging, and draconian punishments for juvenile offenders without even batting an eye.
If your child has been arrested or charged with a crime, it is of the utmost importance to obtain the best legal representation possible. Contact the Law Offices of Randall Sousa today for a free consultation with a Fairfax juvenile defense attorney and we will do all we can to ensure that your child’s future is not placed in jeopardy. 571-354-6164
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By: Randall Sousa
PASSIONATE AND PERSONAL SERVICE
The Law Offices of Randall Sousa provides clients throughout Virginia with affordable, professional, and aggressive criminal defense legal services. If you have been arrested, charged with a crime, or are under investigation, call us now for a Free Consultation.
Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney Randall Sousa possesses a deep commitment and passion for criminal defense, and he is relentless when it comes to fighting for his clients in each and every case.
Law Offices of Randall Sousa
3007 Williams Drive
Fairfax, VA 22031